Getting your teenager ready for school in the morning can be stressful – getting them out of bed, forgotten homework, missing buses – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 tips to help you and your teen get a great start to the day!
Early to bed, ready to rise
In adolescence, your child’s sleep and sleep patterns start to change – teenagers will often go to bed later at night and struggle to get up early in the morning. But if you have to drag your teen out of bed in every morning before school, they might not be getting enough sleep. Check out the Raising Children Network’s great information about sleep for teenagers.
Teens in charge
By the time they are in high school, your teen should be able to do things like making their own lunches and managing their time. You can encourage your teen’s growing independence by letting them take responsibility for getting ready for school themselves. Talk to your teen about how you can support them in the mornings (for example, by giving them a wake-up call) – but let them know that they are in charge of getting themselves up and ready for school.
You can take the pressure out of the morning routine by encouraging your teen to get prepared the night before. Anything that doesn’t need to be done in the morning can be done the night before – finishing homework, making lunches, packing bags, etc.
Keep it simple
Encourage your teen to keep their morning routine simple on school days, and save non-essential activities and distractions for afternoons and weekends. Try to keep breakfast simple too – quick nutritious options like wholegrain cereals, fruit and yoghurt are great and can be eaten on-the-go for tardy teens!
Make a plan
Some teenagers find it helpful to develop a morning schedule with key times when they need to get things done, especially if they tend to get distracted or lose track of time. Help your teen to think about what they need to do in the morning, how long each task takes, and what time they need to leave to get to school on time. Then get them to plan out their own morning routine (including wake-up time) to make that happen. Encourage them to build in some extra time in their schedule for emergencies, and stick to the plan!
Try to get a copy of your teen’s school timetable and put it up where you and your teen can see it – so you can encourage them to be prepared for the particular subjects they have each day. It can also help to remind them about any homework or assignments that may be due for a particular class.